Our Sock KAL site - come join us!

We're doing it. Knit-A-Long with us and the "Need A Sock?" book .

Your two KAL guides will be Deb Gemmell and Brenda Harris.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Food and knitting, what could be better than sitting inside while it's snowing outside. It's almost that time so Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday to everyone. Hope you will be enjoying good food with family and friends and maybe doing a little knitting or appreciating the pleased looks on those you knit for.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Food and Knitting

Food and knitting is always a good combo. Here, the Grey Heron Sock KAL ladies enjoy a Christmas luncheon courtesy of Karen, the shop owner, shown here wearing the red and grey.

Arlene showed off her completed sock. When she left last week, the toes were only partially decreased. Arlene commented that she would most likely not be able to figure out the grafting at home. She expected she would wait for me to help her at the Christmas luncheon. But look what she did all on her own. Completed, grafted and ready to wear. Well done, Arlene.

Ruth who finished her sock in class last week, showed us her latest scarf. This is not the scarf she started. Her vision for the first scarf didn't work out, so she ripped it, purchased some novelty yarn to tart up the plain red and started over. This one is gorgeous, Ruth.

I'll not mention Diane's poor sock. Diane, remember, went south for a week. That meant last week, she played catch up. At home, she thought she would be able to progress but forgot to decrease through the gusset. Oops! She had a pretty funny, fat sock when she came to class. We let her eat with us anyway.

I can't tell you how proud I am of these knitters. They came to the store in the early fall, non-knitters all. Since then, they have knit scarves, hats, mittens, learned to felt and now to make socks. Well done ladies. What shall we tackle in the new year?

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm making slow progress but progess none the less. You can see how stripey this wool is now that I've done the Elizabeth Zimmermann's Garter Edged Heel Flap (pg.36). It works really well and makes it so easy to pick up stitches along the side of the heel flap.
I'm not going to put the pattern down the foot since it is quite raised. Now it's clear sailing in stockinette stitch to the toes. I think I'm going to start a second leg with another set of needles while I'm enthusiastic about the pattern and then I can work both socks at the same time, the second sock when I want to work the pattern or the first sock when I want some plain knitting to do. Sounds like a plan.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Grey Heron Knitters Finish Their Socks.

Ruth finished her sock in class and learned the Kitchener stitch to close the toes. Proud is too mild a word.
Diane, though forgot her knitting bag at home when she headed off to Southern climes for a week. She was ready to turn her heel this week.

There were promises though to have all socks complete by this Wednesday so they can be worn to our Christmas lunch. I'll keep you posted on that one.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My 6-stitch slip stitch pattern is working really well. At least I think it is. (Quilted Lattice pattern - see previous post for pattern.)
I put on 66 sts for a ladies sock (about 6 sts extra) and am knitting at about 8 sts = 1" on 2.25mm needles. The slip stitch is going to pull the fabric in but not as much as I thought it might. It's working out well with the striped wool.

As you can see there is quite a bit of variation in the colour but I like that the slipped stitches seem to fade away in spots.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Knitting Competition

As you can see, the competition never rests. Mum on second sock of second pair. Tia , the Norfolk Terrier on nursing duty. This is a 101 sock in a lovely yarn
dyed in shades of purple.

James Socks

When last I spoke of these socks, I had failed miserably to do a correct heel flap. Instead of the 28 (50%) stitches required, my mis-count gave me only 26. Of course, I didn't count twice, but proceeded to complete the flap. And the heel turn. Or at least I tried to turn the heel. Without the correct number of stitches, it was quite one-sided.

But done now, here are the details.

Pattern - Sock 101 from Need A Sock? Using 56 sittches to fit a shoe size 5.

Yarn - Waikiwi in dark green. This yarn is by Naturally from New Zealand and contains 10% Possum Fur.

Ribbing - My favourite. A 2 X 2 rib.

Heel Flap & Turn -Again my favourite. The SL 1, K 1 heel flap with a round - start short rowing at two past centre - heel.

Toes - Round toes. Favourites?? You bet. Decrease every other round until 50% of stitches remain, then decrease every round until 25% remain before grafting.

Mods - With 56 stitches, I was able to put an easy, seven-stitch pattern on the leg of K6, P1. It's great how that seven stitch pattern not only flowed nicely from the 2 X 2 ribbing, but also fit into my 56 stitch sock a perfect eight times. Four for the front of the leg,. Four for the back.

All in all, a favourite pattern and a great pair of socks for Grandson James,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's not working!
The wool is just too stripey to show the Lace Cable pattern well. That may be why it was abandoned at the bottom of my sock stash box in the first place. I thought maybe it needed a bigger pattern. But then I had another idea, what if I had a pattern on top!!
Yes, this is definitely going to work. And it's a 6 st repeating pattern, yay, which will fit into the Fancy Sock set-up. All I had to do was make the pattern which is written for working back and forth into a pattern for 'in the round'. This is the Quilted Lattice pattern from A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker, pg. 102 (the blue book).
Here it is 'in the round':
R1:  *YO, K5, YO, K1;
R2:  *drop the yo, SL1, K4, drop the yo, SL1;
R3-5:  *SL1, K4, SL1;
R6:  *drop the slipped st to front of work, K2, pick up dropped slipped st and knit it, slip next 2 sts over to Right needle, drop next slipped st to front of work, slip the 2 sts from Right needle back onto Left needle, pick up dropped st and knit it, K2;
R7:  *K2, [YO, K1] twice, K2;
R8:  *K2, [drop yo, SL1] twice, K2;
R9-11:  *K2, SL2, K2;
R12:  *slip next 2 sts over to Right needle, drop next slipped st to front of work, slip 2 sts from Right needle back onto Left needle, pick up dropped st and knit it, K2, drop next slipped st to front of work, K2, pick up dropped st and knit it;

I'm pretty sure I have this written out correctly but let me know if it's not. It's working for me.
You'll feel so adventurous when you drop those stitches and pick them up again. Risky knitting, yikes, but the yo make the slipped stitches very stable. You also have to work a YO at the beginning of each double pointed needle but don't worry if they fall off because you drop them in the next row anyway. Is that just perfect or what?!

I'm so excited to get going on this pattern. It totally fits the hand dyed wool.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You guys are going gang busters at the Grey Heron. Well done. You have encouraged me to get going on another pair of socks. To that end I was scrounging around in my sock wool stash, right to the bottom where I found one sock which I started and for some reason got stalled on. Does this happen to other knitters?
This wool obviously wants to be made into socks and I have failed it miserably. So I'm going to make good now. I'll undo that sock, wet the yarn and hang it up to dry and use the other ball to get started on a new sock. By that time the washed wool will be ready to use too. Now to decide on the pattern I want to knit. Lace, Cable or Sock 101, which one to choose? I'm leaning towards cables.

Sharon, I'm so glad you're joining us. I hope you're mom is doing well with her radiation treatments and I hope the sock knitting will make the waiting time go faster for you. The competition between you and your mom will get you going on your second sock which could be a good thing. For those of you who don't know, Sharon is a fantastic moebius knitter, the word obsessed comes to mind, so I don't know if I should mention that socks can also be addictive too. Beware!

As The Heel Turns

The Grey Heron sock KAL group all turned their first heel yesterday. During class time, they went from heel turning virg - - s, to accomplished turners! Diane is on vacation somewhere sunny and warm and we all hope she took her sock and book with her. We'd feel badly, Diane if you were the only 'virg - - - ' left in our crowd!

As last week, the day started as concentration central. 'New' Diane is concentrating hard. The wonderful thing about watching 'new' Diane turn her heel is that she has tried more than once in the past to do this and found the instructions confusing and complicated. To see her accomplish her heel turn so quickly and easily was gratifying!

And here she is later with heel turned amidst expressions of " I can't believe I did this!"

Arlene had problems with her yarn splitting. Every time she did the SSK on her short row. This look on her face? Frustration!
Not a quitter, though. She persevered and before she left for the day the heel was turned and her first round of gusset decreases done.

Ruth, our knitter/comedian, shows her turned heel and you can clearly see the marker for needle number one. Ruth's comment was " No one will believe I can knit socks"!
Well done, ladies! There was laughter and fun and turned heels. What better way to spend Wednesday afternoons.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Two for the Price of One Invitation

Hi Deb, and Hello Brenda
I am a faithful reader of both Cabin Fever and Brenda Knits. Deb, perhaps you could introduce me to Brenda, as I already follow her blog.
I have finally managed to corral Book, Yarn and Needles and was smugly pleased with myself, until I looked across the room to see my mother finishing a sock. The snugness vanished completely when she gave me a short lecture on the superiority of your book and sock directions.
I am knitting furiously while she sees her doctor and has her radiation treatments- but I have not caught up. I am using the Silk and Silver, and the socks are for my sister. So is she. I am knitting the plain sock, she is knitting the ribbed sock. She is very competitive, I am easily distracted. You can see how this is going to end. She is already planning the next pair she will knit- I am hoping to get a second sock to match the first.
We are both enjoying the book, and the knitting.
I just wanted you to know we are here, and knitting socks.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Heel Flaps

Things were in a flap yesterday at Grey Heron! Heel flaps that is.

Remember Arlene who left last week with her yarn re-wound and not a stitch complete? Look what she did at home during the week.

Arlene knows she is a very slow, methodical knitter. Knitting this seven plus inch sock leg took her a l-o-n-g time she admitted and required some 'stick-to-it-ive' discipline. Well done Arlene!

Re-arranging stitches to obtain the correct number on one needle to begin the heel flap took some time. Mostly because I didn't stress the importance of rearranging the stitches according to the leg chart on Page 17 before the class left for home last week. Sorry, ladies.

The heel flap is knit on 50% of stitches, but not the 50% already on one needle. It's the two 25% needles that come together to form the heel flap. Reversing the stitch configuration is required and can be confusing if the stitches are not already arranged according to the percentage system. Check out the chart.

Once that was done, tension mounted. There was dead silence in the room as heel flaps were begun. Can you sense it? Here's Diane in deep concentration.

Ruth too is very studious!

But by the end of class, look what was accomplished!

Diane's heel flap - just a couple rows short of completion. The entire class loved the easy row-counting tip pictured at the bottom of page 18 .

Before the ladies went home, we had a visitor. Never a dull moment at Grey Heron. Carol, a soon-to-be Great Grandma, came to the store to show off the knitting she has done for baby. I took her into the workshop room and while she oohed and awed over the ladies socks, they oohed and awed over her little, pink, baby outfit. There were knitterly smiles all around.

Next week, - the dreaded heel turn. Not!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sock KAL At Grey Heron

What fun we had at our Need A Sock? KAL today at Grey Heron.

There were four knitters - all experienced in knitting on double pointed needles. But! None of them had ever knit with such fine yarn or such small needles.

Starting was awkward.

Can you sense tension in those hands?

As I say in the book, the awkwardness doesn't last long. Look at where they were by the end of class.

Well, poor Arlene has decided to start over.

They have homework this week. They will knit the leg at home, then next week, we do the heel flap. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cross-posted from my (Elizabeth's) blog, Chez Lizzie.

A Walk in the Park

I made the 5-minute walk over to Grant Hall at Queen's University for a flu shot this morning. This is supposed to be the last of our Indian summer days, so I used the opportunity to take some photos along the way. First, I strolled down Bagot St. to the Cricket Field, where I had a great view of the Courthouse. The site was originally intended for the Parliament of Upper and Lower Canada (Kingston was the capital in the early 1840's).

Frontenac County Courthouse

On the other side of Bagot St., I noticed that the City has begun to set up the boards for what will be a skating rink.
Rink boards in background, sign commemorating 1837 militia garrison in foreground

 I crossed Barrie St. and entered Queen's campus, passing Summerhill, now the home of the alumni offices.

Students were walking to their morning classes.

Arriving at Grant Hall, I took my place in the line and was through pretty quickly. Very efficient. I worked on closing up the toe to my second Pillar Sock while I waited the mandatory 15 minutes after my shot. Had fun listening to a conversation between retired professors.
Then, back home to lunch and the final grafting of the toe and blocking. And here is the result:

Can't say how much I love the garter stitch edges on the heels--so incredibly easy to pick up the stitches for the gusset. Also, I love the V heels. You just knit to the centre of the heel flap to start; how easy is that? Just a walk in the park! Plus, I have narrow heels anyway, so they're a great fit. Thanks, Deb.

Monday, November 15, 2010

James Socks

Sorry about the immodesty, but look at what a great job I did here.
No gaposis at the corner of 'instep & gusset' on James socks.

I eliminated the gaposis, by reaching down inside the sock and picking up a purl bump close to the corner then knitting into it.

It wasn't hard to do and sure beat that gaposis into submission.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Round Heel

I used the Round Heel for James sock. Here's a close up.
James sock has 56 stitches. The heel flap was worked on 50% of 56 or 28 stitches.

To turn a round heel, the initial row is knit to 2 stitches past centre. In the case of James socks, centre was between stitch 14. I knit to centre (14) plus 2 - or 16 stitches, before making a decrease to start the turn.

The socks look good so far and are knitting up quickly.

My Adventures with Deb's Sock Pattern

I (Elizabeth) have cross-posted this from my own blog http://chezlizzie.blogspot.com/
The last two days have been an unexpected gift--frosty mornings followed by brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures. With Bill attending a conference at Queen's (something to do with public finance), I decided that the weather demanded a road trip. So off to Picton, in Prince Edward County, I went. The drive along Lake Ontario was glorious, with the water sparkling on my left. Then I came to vineyards and orchards and finally the Glenora ferry. While I waited for the ferry, I worked on a sock from Deb and Lynda Gemmell's new sock book.

Here is the sock on the hood of my car, waiting for the arrival of the ferry. And here is the ferry itself.

Once in Picton, I window shopped, visited the Rose Haven Farm Store, browsed in French Country, and bought a bagel with cheddar cheese and a coffee. Then I drove home.
In the evening, while Bill had dinner at the Faculty Club, I paid $10 to hear violinist David Stewart play a concert featuring the music of Ysaye. Very enjoyable since I love Ysaye and one does not hear his music often enough, especially the solo works. I sat in the back and knitted (quietly) some more on the sock.
Today, another day of warmth and blue skies. After having the eavestroughs cleaned, I wandered down to the Kingston market. Lots of squashes on display.

And apples.

And pickles and jams.
I bought this gorgeous red dogwood to dress up my back deck for the holidays.

Finally, I returned home to admire my freshly blocked sock. (I always block the first one before starting in on the second, just to be sure of the fit.) Don't you love DK weight sock yarn? It makes socks that can fit in your shoes, and it knits up so fast!

"Pillar" patterned sock in Trekking 6-ply tweed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How handy Is That?

Just to let our fellow KAl-ers know. Being brain dead after 4 Remembrance Day services yesterday before knit group, it sure was nice to have the stitch distribution chart on Page 16 for my 2 X 2 rib. No thinking required! Now I'm on to the leg and simply readjusted my stitches according to the chart on Page 17. What a brilliant idea those charts were! :):)
Would you like to join us as we knit socks? If you would like to put in a blog posting about your progress, your finished socks or any questions you might have send your email address to deb.cabinfever@gmail.com and I will send out an invite. Join the party!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

James Ribbed Socks

Here is the first couple of inches of my KAL socks.
I cast on 56 stitches and am using a 2 x 2 rib - my favourite. James' shoe size is right between the largest child's size and the smallest ladies size as per the Cast On Chart on page 11, so I decided to go with the larger number of stitches. The yarn has 10% Possum Fur and is incredibly soft.
I finished my first sock mate. Here's proof.
Second sock done. This is the Squiggle Lace Pattern on pg. 31. I did it in Shelridge Farm's DK weight superwash and they have turned out really well. This pattern is easy to read. You can always tell where you are, either there is a yarn over that you can see and then you know you're on a standard rib round or else there is no loop and you need to work a lace round. I found it an easy travelling sock to knit. I would like to do it in a finer sock yarn now but I'm putting it lower in the sock knitting queue so it will be new again when I get to it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm much further along on my Squiggle Socks. These are a variation on the K2,P2 rib socks. They're fun to do. The ribbing on the cuff runs right into the Squiggle Lace pattern.
And the P2 part of the rib is maintained which makes this pattern hug the leg well.
It's easy to see what you are doing for every row too which makes this a good travelling sock pattern. I'm working the Elizabeth Zimmermann heel with garter stitch edges. Nice heel.

Here you can see that I've turned my heel. This is a Round heel and by far the most popular of the heel turnings. Now a bit of gusset work and onto the foot.

Comments: Yes, Brenda there are many, many double pointed needles under that deck. Sigh.